Help Understanding Volume and Tone Pots

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tideluva, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. tideluva

    tideluva Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Before I get bashed with "go search Google" I have looked and cannot find what is in my noggin.
    I know that 250k doesn't allow as much high end through as a 500k etc.

    My question is this:
    If I have a 250k or 500k volume pot, what effect would changing the tone pot value have with a given volume pot?

    Example. 500k volume, change a 250k tone to 500k tone would do this.

    Also, are you "supposed" to keep volume and tone pots matched?
  2. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2006
    leme suggest... the only way YOU are ever gonna know is to experience each in person.... so. . . you probably already have at least one of the two primary values in hand... so buy ya a set of the others... they are inexpensive... so just do it....

    then try one set, then the other... Now you actually know for certain how your gear, your ears and how everything responds to the value at hand instead of wondering if some guy with 6 posts and a screen name Squiggyfart123 actually knows what he's talking about. Or if some old, fat, bald, redneck like me is still as crazy as I hope I am... :D

    when anyone gives "you" their opinion of how something sounds, they cannot evaluate the single most important influence on that sound, your hearing, and your playing prowess, and how that will impact what you actually hear. < and guys, y'all can carry on about Paint, 'n Caps, 'n Pickups, 'n strings, 'n nuts, 'n and 'n and 'n all ya want... those two have more impact on what "you" actually hear than all the other stuff piled together..

    Ron Kirn
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016

    SPROING! Member

    Dec 5, 2011
    When wired together, you can calculate total load on the circuit.
    A pair of 500k pots yields 250k total. A pair of 250k pots gets you 125k. Mixing one with the other gets you 375k. Ive had P90s that do well with that setup.
    There really aren't any's what sounds best to you.
    Brian N likes this.
  4. tideluva

    tideluva Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    So if I have a 500k volume and a 250k tone that is wired only to the bridge pickup to tame the high end only the bridge would see 375k correct? The bridge would see only 500k?
    Sorry but this whole thing is new to me.
    Thanks for the help.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    14 Megameters from Groong Tehp
    Once they're both in the circuit, they get summed. They won't be seen as individual resistance to the pickups.

    Draw a schematic of it, and it will make more sense to you.

    Oh wait, if you use a 3-way switch to go between pickups, then you will have different resistance on each side.


    If both pickups are selected, a single tone pot will affect both pickups.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    tideluva likes this.

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